Preview: Alabama-Huntsville at Maine men’s hockey

Posted Feb. 02, 2012, at 6:34 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 02, 2012, at 9:30 p.m.

No. 15 MAINE vs. ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE

Time, site: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Alfond Arena, Orono

Records: Maine 14-8-3, Alabama-Huntsville 2-24-1

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 9-0-1, 4-0 on Oct. 22, 2005

Key players: Maine LW Spencer Abbott (13 goals, 27 assists), C Brian Flynn (13 & 23), D Will O’Neill (1 & 20), RW Matt Mangene (9 & 10), C Kyle Beattie (3 & 16), LW Adam Shemansky (9 & 5), G Dan Sullivan (13-5-3, 2.84 goals-against average, .903 save percentage); Alabama-Huntsville – RW Kyle Lysaght (6 & 4), LW Mac Roy (5 & 4), C Justin Cseter (3 & 6), D Lasse Uusivirta (1 & 5), C Alex Allan (1 & 4), D Tom Durnie (3 & 1), G Clarke Saunders (2-18-1, 3.66, .908)

Outlook: Alabama-Huntsville is the nation’s only Division I independent and has played a gruelling schedule including 14 games against teams that have been nationally ranked. The Chargers have beaten two nationally ranked teams, Nebraska-Omaha (3-1) and Denver (3-2). Maine will be without leading goal scorer Joey Diamond (17 & 13) due to a hip flexor. Mangene will move up and play on the top line with Abbott and Flynn and freshman defenseman Jake Rutt will take Mangene’s right wing spot with Mark Anthoine and Stu Higgins. The Chargers didn’t play last weekend but, in their previous series, they dropped a pair of one-goal games to the nation’s top-ranked team, Minnesota-Duluth. Maine is riding a high after going 4-1-1. Alabama-Huntsville is the lowest scoring team among the nation’s 58 Division I programs (1.19 goals per game) but the Chargers have held teams to four goals or less 18 times thanks to their 1-3-1 trap and the goaltending of Saunders.

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